What Are Story Points and How To Use Them in Agile Estimation?

Dapheny Murphy | June 27, 2022

What Are Story Points and How To Use Them in Agile Estimation?

Story points are the abstract measurement of the complexity of the user story implementation that usually developers will take to complete any task. These are generally provided in numeric values. Multiple factors impact the story points in addition to complexity.

Below are the members involved in the Story Points activity:

There are 2 types of departments involved in the story points activity. One is the technical department which will provide the picture of technical efforts & capabilities, complexity, technical impacts & risks, resourcing, etc. Below are the members involved in this process:

  • Technical members
  • Engineering leads
  • Technical management team

The second department makes decisions on the basis of story points provided by the technical department. Story points assignment activity helps the business team to analyze the return on investment. Below are the members involved in this:

  • Scrum master
  • Product owner
  • Business team

Example for Story Point Assignment:

Story points are relative values. For example, if there is a user story Story 1 with point 1 and another user story Story 2 with point 2 then it means Story 2 is 2 times more complex than Story 1.
There are multiple scales used to provide the story points like linear sequencing, double sequencing, Fibonacci series, T-shirt sizing i.e XS, S, M, L, etc.

Significance of Story Points:

  • This helps Dev teams to finalize their implementation strategy as well as effort estimation for the tasks assigned to them.
  • Assigning Story Points to the new features, enhancements, etc., is an essential part of planning.
  • This also assures the delivery deadlines for the assignments.
  • This also helps product owners in decision-making by estimating the efforts as per the available budget.
  • This helps to forecast the costing, resourcing, and delivery.

Parameters Which Impact Story Points:

  • Task complexity
  • Technical capabilities of the team
  • Risks involved in the project
  • Business logic
  • Application and domain knowledge

Best Practices for Providing the Story Points:

  • The contribution of all the team members is required while assigning the story points.
  • Need to consider all the factors impacting the story points. There are multiple factors that are impacting the Story points like - complexity, and risk. So, it is always recommended to have some standards which can be customized.
  • Standardize the mechanism for story points.


This publication is for informational purposes only, and nothing contained in it should be considered legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out of this information and encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.

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